601 CE and Earlier

Medicine: From Galen to Saturday Night Live

In an article for the website Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee looks at the contributions of Roman physician Galen, upon whose work most medieval medicine was based. The writer begins his story with a look at Steve Martin's portrayal of medieval doctor Theodoric of York on Saturday Night Live. (video)

Roman cemetery at Glevum excavated

Experts from Cotswold Archaeology have discovered a number of new burials in what they believe was the cemetery for the Roman city of Glevum, now Gloucester. "This is probably one of the most significant finds that has been made within Gloucester within the last 30 years. It will add greatly to the knowledge of the [city]," said archaeologists Stuart Joyce.

Latin alive and well in the cyber world

Latin, formerly known as the "dead language," seems to be alive and kicking in the digital age, according to a recent article in the Economist. Five words can often say more than ten English ones, notes David Butterfield, a Latinist at the University of Cambridge, making the language ideal for Twitter.

Roman wall discovered in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum in Plovdiv, Bulgaria have discovered the remains of a 5th century Roman wall near the regional broadcasting centre of Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television.

Lincoln Castle may hide Roman townhouse

The Lincolnshire County Council is sponsoring the restoration of Lincoln Castle in England. So far, archaeologists have found the remains of the Norman foundations of the castle and a previously-unknown Anglo-Saxon church. They expect to reach the Roman era soon in which they expect to find a Roman townhouse.

Welsh site spans Roman and medieval periods

The time between when the Romans left Britain and the medieval period began has usually been considered a dark age lacking in civilization, but a new archaeological discovery in Caernarfon, Wales may help to fill in the gaps.

Elizabeth Greene shares an "Academic Minute" on Roman shoes

A recent "Academic Minute" from WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, features Dr. Elizabeth Greene of Western University in London, Canada, on the topic of Roman shoes, and what they can tell us about the lives of people in Roman Britain.

Lyminge excavations shed light on the "Dark Ages"

After the Romans left Britain in the 5th century, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes moved in, bringing their culture and architecture to the country. The recent discovery of what is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon royal feasting hall in the Kent, England village of Lyminge is shining a new light on the 7th century in England. Jason Urbanus of Archaeology has a feature story. (aerial photos)

Amazing Roman concrete

2,000 years after it was installed, some Roman concrete is still holding strong. Why? That is the question that an international team of experts has answered through the study of the Pozzuoli Bay breakwater, at the northern tip of the Bay of Naples. The History Channel (History.com) has the story.

Fort search hopes to change perception of Romans in Scotland

"People are always surprised when I tell them about the Roman occupation of the area - they think the Romans never got any further than the Antonine Wall or even Hadrian's Wall which simply isn't true," said Dr Birgitta Hoffmann who leads an effort to discover a "lost" Roman fort in Scotland.

Situation is critical for Saint Hilarion Monastery

Saint Hilarion, at Tel Umm al-Amr in the Gaza Strip, is considered the Holy Land's oldest monastery. The site, named for a 4th century hermit, is in danger of destruction due to lack of funds.

Haverhill research center to be built over Roman farm

Archaeologists working on what will become the Haverhill Research Park have discovered artifacts ranging from the Iron Age to the 19th century on the site. The science research complex will be constructed on what was once a 2nd century Roman farm.

Irish Ogham stones digitized

Researchers of Ogham stones in Ireland may not have to actually travel to the country thanks to experts at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, who have "used laser scanning equipment to capture and digitise more than 50 Ogham stones across the country." The Ogham 3D Project provides 3D images of Ogham stones from all around Ireland.

"Natural Jacuzzi" found in Turkey

“We never assumed we could find such a structure. It is a natural Jacuzzi from 1500 years ago," said Governor Abdülkadir Demir about the discovery of a thermal Turkish bath (hamam) in the province of Denizli.

New Leicester parking lot discovery

It's been quite a year for Leicester archaeologists. First there was the discovery of Richard III under a parking lot. Now a 3rd century Roman cemetery has been found under a second lot. The cemetery includes 13 burials -- both Christian and Pagan, an unusual practice at the time.

Now in English: Cookbook From Archaeological Studies in Northern and Central Europe

Looking for really historical documentation for cooking? A Culinary Journey Through Time, published by Communicating Culture, is now available in English, German and Danish. The book is the "first ever cookbook based on archaeological finds." Jeppe Wojcik of ScienceNordic has a review.

Ancient gold figurine found in Danish field

A gold figurine of a bound, nude woman has been found in a farm field in Bornholm, Denmark. This is the fifth gold figurine found near each other in the same field. The woman dates to the 6th century CE.

Swear like a Roman

Facility in swearing is either an admirable or a deplorable ability, but all can agree that it is a trait with a long history. In her new book, Holy Sh*t! A Brief History of Swearing, Melissa Mohr outlines the history of the practice with emphasis on Roman times. Olga Khazan of the Atlantic has a review. PG-13.

Volunteers join experts to uncover Roman road in Wales

For three days, residents of Abergwyngregyn, Wales worked alongside archaeologists to uncover a portion of a Roman road, which once ran from Caerhun to Segontium. The road runs near the home of 13th century Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great and his grandson, the first Prince of Wales. (photo)

More on the art of Roman hair fashion

Baltimore hairdresser, and self-proclaimed "hairdo archaeologist," Janet Stephens, discusses her unique work with Roman hairstyles with the BBC while on a recent visit to London. (video)

"Magnificent" Byzantine mosaic found in Israeli kibbutz

Archaeologists working on an excavation n the fields of Kibbutz Bet Qama in Israel have discovered a magnificent mosaic dating to the Byzantine period. It is believed to be part of a public building in a large settlement. (photo)

Alken Bog site of human sacrifice?

Post-Roman Germania was a dangerous place, both for intenders invaders and those who found themselves on the bad side of the warlord. This was the conclusion of a team of Danish archaeologists investigating a bog in present day Denmark where the team discovered the remains of 40 men "hacked to bits and thrown into the shallows of Lake Mosso."

"Spectacular colorful mosaic" found in Kibbutz Bet Qama dig

Archaeologists working on an excavation at Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B’nei Shimon region of Israel were surprised to discover a beautifully-preserved, Byzantine mosaic dating to the 4th - 6th centuries. The mosaic adorned the floor in what experts believe was a public building. (photo)

London's "lost stream" yields treasures.

Beneath the streets of London runs a river of gold - not actual gold and not actually a river, but archaeological gold in the form of the "lost" Walbrook River. Dubbed "the Pompeii of the north," the thick layer of mud has been a treasure trove of Roman artifacts, from a gladiator’s amber amulet to entire buildings. (photos and video)

"Romans Revealed" project allows children to "dig" into diversity of Roman Britain

A new interactive website, aimed at children, has been launched by the Runnymede Trust and archaeologists from the University of Reading. The site focusses on the diversity of Roman Britain by allowing children to learn about Roman residents such as the ‘Ivory Bangle Lady,’ a "high status young woman of North African descent who remains were buried in Roman York."

Scottish "wall" built fifty years before Hadrian's

BBC History Magazine reports that archaeologists have identified a first century Roman defense system that extended 120 miles across Scotland. The series of forts, watchtowers and defensive ditches predates Hadrian's Wall by 50 years, and the Antonine Wall by 20. (photos and map)

Public encouraged to participate in Navenby dig

The recent discovery of what is believed to be a Roman dwelling, dating to the 3rd or 4th century, in Navenby, Lincolnshire, England, offers an opportunity to the public to participate in a real archaeological dig. Work on the site is being sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will continue until September.

Archaeologists hope to find Roman fort in Midlands flood zone

After serious flooding, the Environment Agency in England is studying plans to build flood defences along the River Derwent near Derby in the Midlands, but before that work begins, archaeologists are being given access to an area known to be the site of a Roman fort.

Construction workers find Bath's Roman wall

Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of part of the 4th century Roman wall in England's city of Bath. The discovery was made during sewer repairs to Burton Street.

Tolkien inspiration on display in Hampshire

Eight years before J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit, archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler sought the author's opinion about a cursed Roman ring discovered in Silchester, Hampshire in the 1920's. The ring, along with a tablet, cursing any thief who thought to steal it, are believed to have inspired Tolkien's One Ring.